We love eating out in Valencia, and now we’d like to share some of our favourite places with you all!
There is a tough balance between sharing your secrets and then risking a place becoming so popular that you cannot get into it any more, but frankly, right now the hospitality industry needs people to support it.
One other caveat is that we tend to eat out in Russafa, so lots of our recommendations are around there. As we visit more places, we’ll add them to the list.
So please do go and enjoy!
Traditional places to eat
- La Pilareta: a bar that has been around since 1917 and specialises in clotxines (mussels) but has plenty of other excellent tapas choices. No reservations – if it is busy, the staff will give you a number and when it is your turn they’ll shout out your number for you http://www.barlapilareta.es/en/
- El Rus: a very local bar which sells bocadillos (evening only). Traditionally, if you turned up at 8pm, they were just opening, food started at 8.30pm and by 9pm they were full, but with the pandemic they’ve brought the times forward a bit by about 2 hours (the same pattern of opening and business still applies). They have an excellent bocadillo with sobrasada, onions and bacon (corner of Sueca and Puerto Rico in Russafa). https://elrusrestaurante.com
- La Cantina: a local place in Russafa for esmorzaret or lunch, a bit chaotic and not a lot of English spoken but great value for money https://lacantinaderuzafa.wixsite.com/valencia
- Restaurante Navarro: a traditional, welcoming place, good for families and couples alike. They make a variety of paellas. Our review.
- Casa Roberto: a very local place for paellas, but you do need to book your table and pre-order your paella in advance; no English spoken though (we think!) https://casaroberto.es/
Decent options for a straightforward lunch or dinner
- Colmado La Lola: a deli which sells food to eat in and to take away – we’ve been a few times and found this to be a fun and tasty option if you are in the centre https://lalolarestaurante.com/colmado/
- Saona (various locations): a mini chain which is quite popular (consider booking or else be prepared for a queue in busy places), which has a modern Spanish menu https://www.gruposaona.com/reservas-valencia/
- Black Turtle: (various locations): another mini chain which is good for burger lovers https://theblackturtle.es/
- Spacca Napoli: there are quite a lot of Italians that live in Valencia and the two branches of this place do lovely pizzas https://www.spaccanapoli.es/
- Acapulco Bar: this is a wine bar with ultra-fresh, Mexican-inspired food – just don’t ask them to make a margarita as they don’t offer them! https://acapulcobarvalencia.com/
- Palao Bistrot: this is a place run by an Italian-French couple and so has Spanish, French and Italian influences; we come here for a relaxed and tasty dinner https://palaobistrot.com/
- Doña Petrona: an Argentine place in Russafa, good for lunch or dinner: https://www.doñapetrona.es/
- La Chata: this is a deli (ultramarinos) as well as a restaurant; the restaurant is on Literat Azorín: https://www.lachataultramarinos.com/
- Hotaru: if you need something a bit different, here is one Japanese place we quite like… https://www.hotaru-restaurante.com/
- Hikari: …and here is another, specialising in yakitori and other grilled foods https://www.hikariyakitoribar.es/
For a more refined lunch or dinner
- Habitual: this is one of Ricard Camarena’s restaurants and is great for a relaxed family lunch, with a menu that features modern Spanish food (do book) https://www.habitual.es/es
- Garnacha Tinta: we were walking past one day, tired and hungry, and we decided to go in and were pleasantly surprised. They feature a lot of Garnacha / Grenache wine too, as the name suggests! https://garnachatinta.es/
- El Almacén: this is an interesting place; a husband and wife team (Raimon Moreno and Vanina Vila) have set this up and are doing some really quite experimental dishes – some are amazing and some are a bit crazy (or both) but definitely worth trying if you like something unusual and innovative https://elalmacenncr.com/en/home-eng/
- Dos Estaciones: our favourite place to eat in Valencia, modern cooking and a relaxed and unpretentious environment – see our review on this blog! https://restaurante2estaciones.com/
- Fierro: Michelin starred restaurant in Russafa, small number of tables, really personal service and innovative food, with influences from both Argentina and the Mediterranean https://fierrovlc.com/en/
Bars, cafés and drinking places
- Blackbird Café: our favourite hipster coffee shop, where we go for brunch and flat whites https://www.instagram.com/blackbirdvlc/?hl=en (Carrer de la Reina Na Maria)
- Los Picos: when Blackbird is closed, Los Picos is open. Quirky and fun staff with lots of attitude (“No wifi, just enjoy the fucking coffee”). Great coffee and selection of sweet treats from nearby sourdough bakery Le Roy. They’re also cooking more stuff lately—including wine and pairing nights (no website, Pl. de Manuel Granero, 20)
- Olhöps: there are two locations, one being a craft beer lab and the other a craft beer house, and you might easily find us here drinking away…. https://www.olhops.com/
- Tyris on Tap: this is the biggest local craft brewer and they have a popular tap room in the city centre https://cervezatyris.com/en/tyris-on-tap/
- The Market Craft Beer: this is just around the corner from Tyris and has an excellent selection of craft beer (no website, corner of Carrer dels Caixers and Carrer de les Danses)
- Ruzanuvol: an Italian owned craft beer place in Russafa with pretty decent food too! https://ruzanuvol.com/
- ViveVino: our new favourite wine bar in Russafa, promoting Spanish natural wines from small producers; they have food to snack on like cheese and meat platters and smoked sardines on toast (no website as far as we can tell, Carrer del Músic Padilla, 2, tel: +34 960 22 81 57)
Horchata, desserts and ice-cream
Valencians have a really sweet tooth. While there, do partake in sampling the local delicacies (which are also seasonal): horchata and fartons when it’s hot, hot chocolate and buñuelos (or churros) when it’s cold.
Most dessert places sell both.
- Horchatería Santa Catalina: the most traditional place in the centre for horchata, and nice chocolate, buñuelos and churros in the winter too https://www.horchateriasantacatalina.com/en/
- Horchatería Daniel: one of The Places for horchata, and we often go to the one in Mercado de Colón, but if you can make your way to Alboraia (birthplace of horchata) you will enjoy a more laid back experience (the metro takes you there in a few minutes from the center) https://horchateria-daniel.es/
- Helados y Turrones Soler Ruzafa: a very neighbourhood place where we enjoy having horchata, and sells turrón in the winter too (no website, corner of Carrer de Sevilla and Carrer de Dénia)
- Vachata: a relatively new place for horchata in Russafa, offering an assortment of sugar free, less sugar or full on sugar horchata, with good pastries as well — chufa based sponge and Mallorcan ensaimadas (no website, Carrer de Mossèn Femenia, 22)
- Heladería Jijonenca: Spanish ice-cream and very importantly, turrón! (No website, various locations)
- Various ice-cream shops in the city: if the place looks Italian and not part of a chain (NOT Amorino) it probably is Italian, and you should make the most of the delicious gelato on offer!